EA Sports has taken the Madden franchise in an interesting direction with the release of Madden Arcade for the Xbox Live Arcade and Playstation Network. This downloadable standalone game uses the official NFL license in a game that is very reminiscent of NFL Blitz. Gone is the photo-relalestic graphics, in comes cartoonish characters. Gone is the NFL rulebook, in comes a fast paced race to 30 points. Gone are the full NFL teams rosters, in comes 5 on 5 smash mouth action. Madden Arcade gives NFL fans of all ages a quick and fun game to play.
Madden Arcade is a game that targets gamers of all ages. The folks at EA Sports have stripped down football to its bare minimum, and added some fun arcade gameplay to keep you entertained. Madden arcade is a quick pick-up and play game. You pick a team and play against another team. There are no franchise modes, no season modes, just straight-up play. Madden Arcade can be played both on-line and off, and can be played as a single player or the much more fun multiplayer. All NFL teams are represented and all the teams big stars make an appearance.
First this is a 5 on 5 man game, next special teams and kicking has been removed, and there is no clock. The winner is the first team to reach 30 points. And to help you get to 30 points first each down both teams will have a chance of receiving a randomly picked “Game Changer”. “Game Changers” are like special moves. You don’t always get one, but when you do you’ll have the chance of getting one leg up on your opponent. Some of these “Game Changers” are Entourage, where you get your full group of linemen for the down, or Fumblitis which causes your opponent to easily fumble the ball. There are “Game Changers” for both offense and defense.
Besides the smaller teams, point goal, and “Game Changers”, Madden Arcade is also played with each team getting 4 downs to possibly score a touchdown. If you can’t make it the ball gets turned over to the other team, where they then have 4 downs to get a touchdown. This goes back and forth till someone hits 30 points.
Also to keep the game fast paced and make it easier for all gamers, play calling has been greatly changed. Now before each down you can pick, Run, Short Pass, Medium Pass, Deep Pass for offensive plays, and on Defense, Blitz, Short Cover, Medium Cover, and Deep Cover. Unfortunately the routes seem to be exactly the same for each and rarely seem different as you play.
The graphics while still very sharp and clean, don’t go the route of Madden 2010. Instead the players and stadiums take a more cartoon look. The field itself is even not as wide and seems to be proportionately not as long. The onscreen graphics also seem much more vibrant and like something you would see on a Sunday morning cartoon.
While the graphics are decent, the sound department isn’t. There is no announcing, which really hurts the game, the great whacky calls in games like NBA Jam is what makes these arcade sports titles special. Also there is no type of licensed music, instead you get real generic stock tracks which seem to repeat over and over and are just boring, and with long games get annoying.
Overall Madden Arcade is a rather fun game. It’s a great buy for your little NFL fans, as well as gamers who just get frustrated with all the controls of the full fledge Madden games. Madden Arcade plays fast and furious, matches could last 5 minutes or 20 minutes, and you will have many nail biting moments. The “Game Changers” really make the game special and add a level of fun. While the art direction might deter some, its actaully rather fun and inviting and again make the game special. The biggest issues are the sound and the overly dumbed down play calling/routes, generic music tracks are just horrid, no announcing makes it boring, and the repetitive play routes can become again boring. Madden Arcade is definitely a good pick-up and play to kill some time game, and getting to the top of the online leaderboards will consume a lot of your playing time. If you have a young child at home this is a great buy for them, as its easy to play while still being real fun even for parents. You can find Madden Arcade in the Xbox Live Marketplace and PSN store.
[starreviewmulti id=5 tpl=46]
[starratingmulti id=5 tpl=49]